Managing your heifers- The future of your herd

Planning ahead is the key to a successful heifer management program. It is desirable to have healthy heifer calves that will grow to reach target weight at puberty. A developing heifer requires a diet that contains at least 16% crude protein and 11.5 ME/kg DM. Vitamins and minerals are also crucial for muscular and skeletal growth.

Research has shown that live weight, and not age of heifers determines the onset of puberty. So, adequate and balanced nutrition will ensure that heifers reach target weight at puberty (around 280kg for Friesians & 200kg for Jerseys) around 12 months of age. Poor nutrition will result in slow growth, which will delay the onset of puberty, affect long-term fertility and milk production.

Concentrate feeds such as CopRice Heifer pellets provide highly digestible protein and energy with balanced vitamins and minerals. This will complement available grass and fodder to improve weight gains and therefore ensure your heifers reach their genetic potential.

Useful Hints

1. Maintain a diet with 16% protein and 11.5ME/kg to ensure good growth rates.

2. Provide balanced vitamins and minerals to ensure healthy and skeletal growth.

3. Feeding pellets can help to improve the nutrition and weight gains of heifers.

4. Weigh heifers regularly to monitor their growth rates.

Remember, well grown heifers will continue to give more milk, get in-calf easier and be profitable in the herd!

For more information, contact your nutritionist or give CopRice a call on 1800267742.